December 2, 2010


The man who invents a new machine invents for humanity a new concatenation of new forms of servitude.

Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección, p. 379


  1. This was a difficult aphorism to translate. The original Spanish is:

    El que inventa una nueva máquina le inventa a la humanidad un nuevo encadenamiento de nuevas servidumbres.

  2. Perhaps "enchainment" would work better than "concatenation"?

  3. The problem is that encadenamiento has both a literal meaning (binding something with chains) and a figurative meaning. In English, on the other hand, we need to use two separate words for the literal meaning (enchainment) and the figurative meaning (concatenation). I chose the more figurative word, since it seems that the figurative sense is the one that predominates in this aphorism. "Concatenation" has a sense of "linking together," as in a chain of causes or connected ideas, that "enchainment" really doesn't have.